'We had the training ground shut down and cleaned' - Lambert on dealing with long-running Ipswich Town illness bug

PUBLISHED: 14:20 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:33 14 March 2019

Ipswich Town had to shut and clean their Playford Road training base following an illness bug. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

Ipswich Town had to shut and clean their Playford Road training base following an illness bug. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown

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Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has revealed that the club carried out a deep clean of their Playford Road training base in order to try and eradicate the sickness bug which has affected several players in recent months.

Dean Gerken became the latest senior player to be hit by illness earlier this week, following on from Matthew Pennington, Flynn Downes, Teddy Bishop and Cole Skuse also missing games. A virus swept through the camp prior to Christmas too, with Grant Ward, Bishop and Danny Rowe all affected then.

“We had to shut the training ground down and get it cleaned,” said Lambert, speaking ahead of Saturday’s game with Nottingham Forest at Portman Road.

“We’ve had so many illnesses and bugs going around. Some people have had it twice, let alone once. It’s a situation I’ve never encountered before with something like this lasting a couple of months.

“I thought it had cleared up the other week. You’d all asked me ‘any more illness’ and I said ‘no’, then I woke up the next day and both Matty Pennington and Flynn Downes had pulled out.”

Following an impressive performance in the 1-1 draw at West Brom last weekend, Lambert made five changes to his team for Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw at Bristol City.

Gerken, Pennington and Downes all trained today and could return to action on Saturday.

Collin Quaner missed the game at Ashton Gate with a ‘little knee problem’, but also trained today and comes back into contention.

James Collins is also back in training after missing the last two games with a calf problem.

Ellis Harrison was back on the bench in midweek for the first time since recovering from a hamstring injury.

“The injuries and illness are certainly getting better,” said Lambert, whose team are 13 points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table with nine games to go. “There are one or two tired legs and stiffness but that will be alright.”

Callum Elder (unspecified knock), Emyr Huws (knee), Tom Adeyemi (Achilles), Grant Ward (knee), Jack Lankester (back), Will Keane (hamstring), Freddie Sears (knee), Ben Morris (knee) and Ben Folami (Achilles) all remain sidelined.

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